In addition to cooking as a squash side-dish, pumpkin can also be used to make many other delectable dishes and snacks, such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin porridge and so on.
However, when I dine at a Chinese restaurant, I often partake in the delicious dessert of pumpkin cake, golden in color, sweet and spicy, and always, very delicious.
Pumpkin is a healthy carbohydrate with a low-fat content.
Pumpkin contains β-carotene, which can be absorbed by the human body and converted into vitamin A, which protects the eyes.
In addition, the β-carotene contained in pumpkin squash can promote normal secretion of various pituitary hormones, ensuring normal growth and development in children.
In addition, pumpkin is a comfort food that can warm the stomach, is soft and sweet, and is easy to digest.
Pumpkin cake is a traditional Chinese dessert that everyone loves. As it is easy to make, there are many versions of pumpkin cake creating a variety of taste experiences.
But the main raw ingredient, the heart of the cake, is the pumpkin.
Today we share the recipes for two pumpkin cakes, fried and steamed.
- Pumpkin… 250 g
- Glutinous rice flour… 250 g
- White sugar… 10 g
- Bread crumbs … enough to coat the small cakes
- Corn oil … right amount
Fried Pumpkin Cake
1. Peel the outer skin off the pumpkin and cut into thin slices, about 1 – 2″ square.
2. Place pumpkin slices into a steamer. Steam for about 10 minutes.
3. Mash into a puree in a bowl.
4. Pour in white sugar and glutinous rice flour. Hand-knead, until the dough is smooth.
The steamed pumpkin already contains a lot of water, and it is generally not necessary to add water when kneading. If you think that the dough is too dry, you can add a little water to knead it.
5. Take a small amount of dough, pound it by hand then flatten it.
6. Coat in the bread crumbs taking care to cover both sides evenly.
7. Pour enough corn oil in a pot to cover the cakes. Heat the oil to medium high, or a low boil, and gently drop in the pumpkin cakes.
Fry to a golden brown on both sides. Carefully spoon out the cakes, draining the excess oil off the cakes onto a towel.
8. The pumpkin cakes will be soft inside and outside. They are delicious and best to eat hot.
Steamed pumpkin cake
- Glutinous rice flour…150g
- Corn starch…40g
- White sugar…50g
- Red bean paste…120g
- Dried Cranberry … a little
1. Peel the outer skin off the pumpkin and cut into thin slices, about 1 or 2” square.
2. Steam the pumpkin in a steamer at 100 degrees for 15 minutes. If needed, chopsticks can be used to break the pumpkin into smaller pieces.
If you do not have a steamer, you can steam the pumpkin in a pot. Bring the water to a boil then place steamer colander over the boiling water. Place the pumpkin into the steamer/colander and steam for 15 minutes.
3. The steamer softens the pumpkin pieces into a soft mushy consistency. Mash the pumpkin into a loose paste.
4. Add the white sugar, glutinous rice flour and corn starch.
5. Knead the pumpkin mash, sugar, flour and corn starch into a smooth sticky dough.
6. Roll the dough into a long strip and divide it into 12 sections with a spatula.
7. Lightly sprinkle the preparation area and the dough sections with a bit more corn starch to prevent stickiness.
8. Divide the red bean paste into 12 portions, about 10 grams each. Place onto the corn starch dusted area.
9. Roll the pumpkin dough into 12 equal sized balls in your hands.
10. Flatten into a circle. Place a red bean paste piece into the center.
11. Roll the pumpkin dough around the red bean paste, encasing the paste into the center of the dough ball.
12. Make sure to pinch ends tightly together, and then rub around to secure the ball shape.
13. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and evenly arrange the dough balls on the baking sheet.
14. Using your index finger, gently press a fingerprint indentation into the top of the dough.
15. Next use a toothpick to press out the lines of pumpkin ridges around the dough ball.
16. Cut the dried cranberries into thin strips.
17. Press the dried cranberry strips vertically into the top of the pumpkins to resemble pumpkin stalks.
18. Steam the completed pumpkins in a steamer at 100 degrees for 10 minutes.
19. After the steamer is finished, the pumpkins can be easily removed. The pumpkins will set up as they cool.
The first method suggests the use of corn oil. You can also use sunflower oil and other lighter cooking oils, without too heavy of an oil taste, otherwise the pumpkin cake will have a heavy oily taste, not the desired sweet and light taste.
Bread crumb is a widely used food coating. When bread crumbs are wrapped on the surface of food and fried, it creates a crispy outer shell. All general supermarkets sell breadcrumbs.
After the pumpkin is steamed, it will produce a lot of water. Before adding the sugar and glutinous rice flour, drain a small amount of water. If you feel the dough is dry, you can add a little water.
You can either use a steamer or wok to steam the pumpkin.
You can use store bought or homemade red bean paste, other fillings or none, depending on your personal preference!